Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Enric Batllori; Carol Miller; Marc-Andre Parisien; Sean A. Parks; Max A. Moritz
    Date: 2014
    Source: Ecological Applications. 24(8): 1898-1907.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (414.94 KB)


    Establishing protection networks to ensure that biodiversity and associated ecosystem services persist under changing environments is a major challenge for conservation planning. The potential consequences of altered climates for the structure and function of ecosystems necessitates new and complementary approaches be incorporated into traditional conservation plans. The conterminous United States of America (CONUS) has an extensive system of protected areas managed by federal agencies, but a comprehensive assessment of how this network represents CONUS climate is lacking. We present a quantitative classification of the climate space that is independent from the geographic locations to evaluate the climatic representation of the existing protected area network. We use this classification to evaluate the coverage of each agency’s jurisdiction and to identify current conservation deficits. Our findings reveal that the existing network poorly represents CONUS climatic diversity. Although rare climates are generally well represented by the network, the most common climates are particularly underrepresented. Overall, 83% of the area of the CONUS corresponds to climates underrepresented by the network. The addition of some currently unprotected federal lands to the network would enhance the coverage of CONUS climates. However, to fully palliate current conservation deficits, large-scale private-land conservation initiatives will be critical.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Batllori, Enric; Miller, Carol; Parisien, Marc-Andre; Parks, Sean A.; Moritz, Max A. 2014. Is U.S. climatic diversity well represented within the existing federal protection network? Ecological Applications. 24(8): 1898-1907.


    climate classification, climate rarity, conservation, gap analysis, principal components analysis, protection network

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page